With roots stretching back to the 17th century Britain and Ireland, farmhouse sinks are the perfect choice for farmhouse and traditional kitchens where both antique charm and functional design are required. While the farmhouse sinks of the early modern era were designed to meet the specific needs of the time, modern farmhouse sinks come in a variety of configurations and styles to suit today’s design sensibilities.
Best Farmhouse Sink 2017
36 x 21 x 10 inches
35.9 x 20.8 x 10 inches
33 x 22 x 9 inches
33 x 19 x 9.2 inches
The benefits of buying a farmhouse sink
One of the biggest benefits of buying a farmhouse sink is the improved ergonomics. When farmhouse sinks were originally designed, women would spend most of their day at the sinks prepping food and washing dishes. Because the front of a farmhouse sink basin lies beyond the surrounding cabinetry, it allows the user to stand directly against the basin without having to lean over inches of cabinet space to wash hands, dishes, etc. The result is a far more ergonomic design that is far less straining on the back than conventional, modern undermount sinks.
Another benefit to having a farmhouse sink is it’s a lot easier to wash dishes in; not only is it easier from an ergonomic standpoint, it’s also easier to wash large pots and pans, thanks to the larger basin which don’t fit well inside a standard sink. This is one of the reasons why those who cook a lot have begun to prefer the farmhouse sink, because it makes cleanup so much easier. And prepping food is easier along those same lines; for instance, it’s simply easier to drain pasta with a farmhouse sink because of the larger room allowance and better ergonomics.
Farmhouse sinks can also protect your cabinets. This aspect depends a lot on the farmhouse sink style, the cabinet style, and how well the farmhouse sink was installed. Typically, cabinets overhang the farmhouse sink on each side. This allows for puddles of water to drain back into the sink while at the same time discouraging water from spilling over the side of the sink and getting in between the farmhouse sink and the cabinet. You can further prevent issues like that by ensuring your farmhouse sink is properly sealed after installation is complete.
For farmhouse sink designs that feature overhanging surrounding cabinetry, some designers and cabinetmakers actually cut subtle drainage channels into the cabinets on each side of the sink; this makes it so you can let dishes dry on the counter without having water puddle up.
Finally, if your farmhouse sink were to overflow, many of them are purposely designed so that water overflows onto the floor instead of the cabinet. With standard sinks, water often spills onto the cabinets. The reason that overflowing onto the floor is preferable is because cabinets are more delicate than flooring, more prone to growing mold and yielding to water damage, and also generally more expensive. The clever drainage technique is often why parents of young children tend to favor farmhouse sinks.
What to look for when buying the best apron front sink
The original London and Belfast farmhouse sinks have surviving descendants, as do the later French farmhouse sinks. For those who crave authenticity, opting for a modern version of these original styles will add a decidedly classic style point to your kitchen.
That said, there are many modern offshoots of the original farmhouse sink styles, some of which began in 1920’s America with the broad cast iron sinks of that period. Today, further innovations have made it so that homeowners can choose from a wide variety of farmhouse sink styles from the rustic to the modern and everything in between.
Fireclay and porcelain farmhouse sinks are common due to their beautifully classic appeal. When durability is a concern, opt for fireclay over porcelain; the look is similar, but fireclay is far more durable, and a great option if you have kids, or will be using your sink for heavy duty tasks.
Other common farmhouse sink material options are copper, concrete, stone and stainless steel. Stainless steel is very inexpensive and will suit most kitchen design aesthetics while copper adds a touch of anachronistic class and changes beautifully as it ages.
Farmhouse fixtures have a really broad range of variety. For an authentic look, you can choose a Georgian style tap with matching porcelain handle. For a modern look, opt for stainless steel or copper.
Finally, on the topic of faucets, it’s important to note that farmhouse sinks originally didn’t have taps. They originally were the sinks of country people who had no access to running water. Because of this, farmhouse sinks today generally don’t have a place to put a faucet. Therefore, you have to decide whether to mount the faucet behind the farmhouse sink on the cabinet or have it come out of the wall. Which you choose may depend on whether you are renovating an existing kitchen or not, or other factors that are difficult to control. However, both options are visually stunning.
Tips on how to choose the best apron sinks for your needs
There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best farmhouse sink brand for your needs. Consider the following:
- If you live in an area with a water shortage, opt for a London-style farmhouse sink or similar. London-style farmhouse sinks were invented in a time when water conservation was crucial to survival in London. London farmhouse sinks are smaller and shallower, so you’ll naturally use less water.
- Decide ahead of time where you will need to place the faucet (tap); farmhouse sinks typically require you to place the faucet behind the sink on the counter or coming out of the wall behind.
- Remember that fireclay is more durable than porcelain; for a more affordable and durable option, go for stainless steel.
- Think about drainage ahead of time. When badly installed, farmhouse sinks can be a drainage nightmare. If water drainage is a concern, opt for a farmhouse sink that overhangs the cabinets in the front, and one which the cabinets overhang on the sides. This allows for maximum drainage with minimum chance of damaging cabinets.
- Consider your cabinets when buying a farmhouse sink; existing cabinetry may have to be replaced or modified. If you’re replacing an old farmhouse sink with a new one, matching the exact dimensions of the previous one will save time and money on cabinet modification.